From a Reuters story on “No more baseball bats: National Front no longer taboo for French youth”:
PARIS/LYON (Reuters) – Just a few years ago, it was hard to find students willing to admit to being National Front cardholders. When a journalist went looking for members of the FNJ youth movement during the last presidential election campaign, most would agree to speak only if their names were withheld.
Five years on, young activists supporting Marine Le Pen’s election bid say they no longer have anything to hide, as she cruises to an expected first place showing in the first round next month.
“It just provides for lively discussions,” said 21-year-old economics student Corentin Corcelette, who, far from keeping his views secret, says he talks about the rollercoaster presidential election with friends of all political persuasions on campus.
Sitting in the same car as they drove around Lyon to put up “Marine President” posters, 20-year old biology student Remi Berthoux was also happy to give a reporter his name. He joined the FN two years ago, he said proudly, “to defend France’s values”.
Once consigned mainly to the shadows, young National Front supporters have come out into the open, as voters their age have lined up behind Le Pen. Daily polls by firm Ifop consistently show her earning nearly a third of the youth vote in the first round, easily beating any of her opponents, although she is still forecast to lose in a second-round run-off in May.
She fares better among voters under 25 than she does among the population at large, often by a margin as high as 7 percentage points. That is a big reversal from her first bid for the presidency five years ago, when her 15 percent share of the youth vote was around 3 points below her overall tally…
On many of the nationalist turns the West it collectively taking, France has been the ‘canary in the coalmine’. In France, the Overton Window has moved to the point that carrying around baseball bats is no longer necessary:
In the past, when the Front’s FNJ youth wing put up posters, “they would do so in the middle of the night,” said Sylvain Crepon, a researcher at the University of Tours who studies the French far right.
“They carried baseball bats to protect themselves and would often be with skinheads,” he said. “Now they can do it in broad daylight, which shows people have grown more accustomed to the FN. It’s become more acceptable.”
There was not a baseball bat or skinhead in sight on the early evening last month when a group of nine clean-cut young men including Corcelette and Berthoux put up Le Pen posters in the streets of Lyon and on its university campus.
“We absolutely don’t see ourselves as far right, but as patriots who are disappointed with other parties,” said David Sedoff, a 26-year old warehouse worker.
With orgs like Generation Identitaire and the FNJ youth movement, as well as having provocative writers like Michel Houellebecq as public intellectuals, moving to the reactionary right is very much a ‘countercultural’ thing for the youth in France to do.
I am heartened by the extent to which youth here in the States are open to Trumpist arguments, and believe this trajectory will only continue, especially as the bubble of Political Correctness keeps getting bigger and more absurd:
Demographics are a major difference between the far right surge on the European continent and last year’s rise of populists in Britain and the United States.
U.S. President Donald Trump and the campaign to withdraw Britain from the EU both lost badly among young voters, on their way to victories won with overwhelming support from pensioners.
For Le Pen, the demographics are almost exactly reversed. She performs well among all categories of younger voters: those under 25, under 35 and under 45. Her worst results are among pensioners: the over 65’s are only age group where she consistently trails her rivals in polling for the first round.
Unlike their Anglo-Saxon cousins, continental populist politicians like Le Pen, the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders and Italy’s Beppe Grillo have turned young voters into their key constituencies. They feed on the resentment of a generation with little seeming hope of matching its parents’ standard of living…
[Marine Le Pen] tends to emphasize economic issues, portraying the FN as guardians of working class voters left behind in the decade since the global financial crisis, and blaming the EU in general and the euro in particular for making France less competitive.
But hostility towards immigration and suspicion of Islam are still central tenets for the party. In a country that has Europe’s biggest Muslim minority and has been hit by a succession of Islamist militant attacks in the past two years, the FN’s xenophobia is no longer the barrier to attracting young voters that it once was.
The FNJ youth movement’s website proudly declares: “100 percent National Front! Zero percent migrants!”
Think about that.
Here is a great video by Generation Identitaire, asserting themselves as an identity and a movement: “A Declaration of War – From the Youth of France”
We are Generation Identitaire…
Our generation are the victims of the May ’68’ers
Who wanted to liberate themselves
From tradition, from knowledge and authority in education.
But they only accomplished to
Liberate themselves from their responsibilities.
We reject your history books to re-gather our memories.
We no longer believe that ‘Khader’ could ever be our brother,
We have stopped believing in a ‘Global Village” and the ‘Family of Man.’
We discovered that we have roots,
Ancestry and therefore a future.
Our heritage is our land, our blood, our identity.
We are the heirs to our own future
We turned off the TV to march the streets…